Ten poisoned by wild mushrooms

NSW Health has warned against eating wild mushrooms after an abnormal number of poisonings.

Not only is it difficult to tell the difference between edible and poisonous mushrooms, but it can be highly dangerous if you eat the wrong one, said health authorities.

In February alone, 10 people in NSW have been treated in hospital after experimenting with the fungi, which was eight cases more than usual for this time of year.

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Mushrooms from your greengrocer or supermarket are safe, said Dr Jeremy McAnulty, Director of NSW Health Protection with NSW Health.

“[But] eating poisonous mushrooms can cause abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea,” he said.

“Some varieties of mushrooms, such as Death Cap mushrooms, can cause death due to kidney and liver damage.”

The wild mushroom season has kicked in early this year, thanks to recent wet and humid weather creating ideal growing conditions.

That’s according to Royal Botanic Gardens deputy executive director Dr Brett Summerell, who said it is best to just avoid the wild mushrooms.

“Unless you’re with an expert who knows each individual species of mushroom very, very well, you should not eat them, because many species are toxic and cause illnesses and in some cases, death,” he said.

—with AAP.

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